Consumer Protection

  • July 24, 2024

    EPA Moving Toward New Regulations For 5 Chemicals

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday kicked off the process to fast-track new health risk evaluations for five chemicals, including vinyl chloride, a substance that raised alarm after the Norfolk Southern train wreck in East Palestine, Ohio, last year.

  • July 24, 2024

    BREAKING: 5th Circ. Strikes Down FCC's Universal Service Fund

    The full Fifth Circuit struck down the Federal Communications Commission's system for subsidizing telecommunications service for rural and low-income users as unconstitutional Wednesday, reversing a panel decision and triggering a circuit split with three other appeals courts that upheld the fee regime.

  • July 24, 2024

    Hemp Cos. Get Stay Of DEA Subpoenas Seeking Records

    A Texas federal judge on Wednesday stayed enforcement of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration subpoenas seeking financial and other records from a group of hemp and vape sellers, who had argued earlier this week that the subpoenas were overbroad and unlinked to any federal investigation.

  • July 23, 2024

    Knives Out For Another Pro-Agency Landmark After Chevron

    Only weeks after U.S. Supreme Court conservatives took a hatchet to the judicial deference shown to federal agencies, right-leaning lawyers are imploring the justices to rock the administrative law realm again by gutting a New Deal-era precedent at the heart of the modern regulatory system.

  • July 23, 2024

    Kroger And Colo. Talks To Avoid Merger Hearing Stall Out

    Negotiations between Kroger Co. and Colorado enforcers to avoid an injunction hearing in the state's challenge to a $24 billion merger with Albertsons appeared to have stalled, prompting the grocers Tuesday to pitch a state judge on other options to avoid the fast-approaching proceeding.

  • July 23, 2024

    'Not Doing Enough': Banks Grilled Over Zelle Fraud, Scams

    Senate Democrats on Tuesday confronted bank executives over a new staff report that found three of the nation's largest banks have declined to reimburse customers in recent years for close to $900 million in payments reported as fraudulent or scam-related that were sent on Zelle, the largest U.S. peer-to-peer payment platform.

  • July 23, 2024

    FTC Won't Delay Challenge To Handbag Merger Either

    The Federal Trade Commission has declined to pause its administrative challenge to the $8.5 billion handbag merger between the owners of Coach and Michael Koors, saying that even a district court refusal to temporarily enjoin the merger might not end the FTC's in-house case.

  • July 23, 2024

    Cannabis Industry Stakeholders Weigh In On Rescheduling

    As the period for public comment on the Biden administration's proposal to reclassify marijuana came to a close Monday, anti-legalization activists, marijuana industry advocates and state cannabis regulators each submitted their thoughts on the potential policy shift.

  • July 23, 2024

    X's Tesla Ties Could Require Judge's Recusal, Watchdog Says

    Elon Musk's X Corp. wants to avoid disclosing its financial links with Tesla in the social media company's defamation lawsuit against Media Matters for America because the Texas federal judge overseeing the case likely holds Tesla stock and would need to recuse himself, the progressive media watchdog said.

  • July 23, 2024

    EPA Must Ban PFAS In Pesticides, Environmental Groups Say

    Farmer advocacy groups and environmentalists urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to flex its regulatory muscles and prohibit the use of pesticide formulas and containers made with so-called forever chemicals, according to a petition that says the agency is doing little to address the issue.

  • July 23, 2024

    ​​​​​​​Nigeria Fines Meta $220M Over WhatsApp Privacy Policy

    Nigerian regulators have hit Meta with a $220 million fine over alleged privacy and antitrust violations and ordered the company to stop sharing WhatsApp users' data with advertisers without express permission, the culmination of a nearly three-year-long investigative process.

  • July 23, 2024

    Microsoft Calls FTC Price Hike Claims 'Misleading' At 9th Circ

    Microsoft pushed back against the Federal Trade Commission's contention that an increase in the company's gaming subscription pricing is evidence of the anticompetitive effects of the software giant's $68.7 billion acquisition of game developer Activision Blizzard Inc., calling the commission out for trying to "reinvent" its case against the merger on appeal to the Ninth Circuit.

  • July 23, 2024

    Laser Sights Not 'Arms,' Judge Rules, Backing Chicago Ban

    An Illinois federal judge Monday upheld the constitutionality of Chicago's laser sight ban and refused to entertain a resident's "eleventh-hour request" to pursue nominal damages, ending the 14-year-old case.

  • July 23, 2024

    US, UK, EU Antitrust Enforcers Outline AI Principles

    The top antitrust officials from the U.S. Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission, the European Commission and the U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority presented a unified international commitment Tuesday to closely monitor artificial intelligence technology and the companies that they warned could wield AI anticompetitively.

  • July 23, 2024

    Wash. AG Says 'Abortion Reversal' Clinic's Suit Still Deficient

    Washington state's attorney general said Monday an anti-abortion clinic group being investigated for marketing an "abortion reversal pill" cannot blame his two-year-old document demands for a recent insurance rate hike, pushing a Tacoma federal judge to reject the group's legal effort to shield itself from future consumer protection enforcement.

  • July 23, 2024

    ​​​​​​​Madonna Tells DC Judge Late Show Suit Already Failed In NY

    Madonna and venue management company Monumental Sports & Entertainment asked a D.C. federal judge to toss a lawsuit claiming that the pop singer kept concert attendees waiting for hours before taking the stage in Washington, D.C., saying the proposed class action should fare no better than a similar suit in New York that was dropped last month.

  • July 23, 2024

    FTC Attys On Kroger Case Get Extensions After IT Outage

    The administrative law judge overseeing the Federal Trade Commission's in-house challenge to Kroger and Albertsons' $25 billion merger has given the agency and the grocery behemoths two extra days on a couple of filing deadlines after the FTC said the worldwide Microsoft outage left several counsel laptops unusable.

  • July 23, 2024

    EPA Tells 5th Circ. Louisiana Can't Stall Chemical Regulation

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the Fifth Circuit cannot decide whether a Louisiana regulator can give a neoprene maker an extra two years to comply with a federal chemical rule because the issue is already before the D.C. Circuit.

  • July 23, 2024

    Yamaha Sinks Defective WaveRunner Watercraft Suit

    An Illinois federal judge on Tuesday threw out a proposed class action alleging Yamaha Motor Corp. USA sold WaveRunner-brand personal watercraft with defective fuel gauges and trip computers, saying the complaint fails to properly allege a breach of warranty or fraud.

  • July 23, 2024

    Optum Can Arbitrate Calif. Healthcare Provider's Antitrust Suit

    A California federal judge Tuesday ordered certain Emanate Health entities who signed hospital services and physician agreements with Optum to arbitrate their antitrust suit accusing it of monopolizing a primary care physician market, finding the agreements encompass rules that say issues of arbitrability will be referred to an arbitrator.

  • July 23, 2024

    CFPB Sued Over Its Probe Of Lease-To-Own Fintech Co.

    Lease-to-own fintech company Acima has accused the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of trying to overextend its authority with an unconstitutional investigation into the company's transactions that fall outside the bureau's purview. 

  • July 23, 2024

    House Panel Weighs New Rail Safety Regs After East Palestine

    The fiery Norfolk Southern derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, last year has created new urgency for strengthening federal standards for tank car designs, rail safety technology, track inspection protocols and classifying hazardous materials-carrying trains, industry experts told a House subcommittee Tuesday.

  • July 23, 2024

    Indonesian National Admits To $23M Ponzi Scheme

    An Indonesian national pled guilty in New York federal court on Tuesday to conspiring to defraud a group of investors out of $23 million through a Ponzi scheme, ultimately spending the money on luxury goods and real estate.

  • July 23, 2024

    Fiat Chrysler Escapes Damages, But Defect Finding Stands

    Fiat Chrysler doesn't owe anything to consumers who sued it over allegedly faulty automatic head restraints in its vehicles, a Florida federal judge ruled, affirming a Fort Lauderdale jury's determination, but he declined to give the automaker a total win because it did violate the state's unfair trade law.

  • July 23, 2024

    General Mills Settles 2012 Suit Over 'All Natural' Kix Cereal

    Consumers have reached a settlement with General Mills Inc. to resolve a 2012 suit alleging it lied about Kix cereal being "all natural" even though it contains bioengineered ingredients, according to a New Jersey federal court order.

Expert Analysis

  • Md. Deal Highlights Consumer Finance Program Regulations

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    Maryland regulators’ recent settlement with the Bank of Missouri and its consumer lending partners, Atlanticus and Fortiva, offers a reminder that it is important to properly structure such partnerships and conduct sufficient due diligence on state licensing requirements, says Tom Witherspoon at Stinson.

  • Series

    Being A Luthier Makes Me a Better Lawyer

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    When I’m not working as an appellate lawyer, I spend my spare time building guitars — a craft known as luthiery — which has helped to enhance the discipline, patience and resilience needed to write better briefs, says Rob Carty at Nichols Brar.

  • Lead Like 'Ted Lasso' By Embracing Cognitive Diversity

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    The Apple TV+ series “Ted Lasso” aptly illustrates how embracing cognitive diversity can be a winning strategy for teams, providing a useful lesson for law firms, which can benefit significantly from fresh, diverse perspectives and collaborative problem-solving, says Paul Manuele at PR Manuele Consulting.

  • 3 Areas Of Enforcement Risk Facing The EV Industry

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    Companies in the EV manufacturing ecosystem are experiencing a boom in business, but with this boom comes increased regulatory and enforcement risks, from the corruption issues that have historically pervaded the extractive sector to newer risks posed by artificial intelligence, say attorneys at MoFo.

  • Nat'l Security Considerations For Telecom Products Counsel

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    An increase in federal national security measures in the telecommunications space, particularly from the Federal Communications Commission, means that products counsel need to broaden their considerations as they advise on new products and services, says Laura Stefani at Venable.

  • Chevron's End Puts Target On CFPB's Aggressive BNPL Rule

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    A recent interpretative rule by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, subjecting buy-now, pay-later loans to the same regulations as credit cards, is unlikely to survive post-Chevron challenges of the rule's partisan and shaky logic, say Scott Pearson and Bryan Schneider at Manatt.

  • Boeing Plea Deal Is A Mixed Bag, Providing Lessons For Cos.

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    The plea deal for conspiracy to defraud regulators that Boeing has tentatively agreed to will, on the one hand, probably help the company avoid further reputational damage, but also demonstrates to companies that deferred prosecution agreements have real teeth, and that noncompliance with DPA terms can be costly, says Edmund Vickers at Red Lion Chambers.

  • Unpacking The Increasingly Popular Fair Credit Billing Act

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    The Fair Credit Billing Act is receiving increased attention from regulators and consumers disputing credit card charges, so creditors should understand its procedural requirements — including the law's focus on the mechanics of a dispute and its potential to create civil liability, say David Gettings and Courtney Hitchcock at Troutman Pepper.

  • Takeaways From EU's Initial Findings On Apple's App Store

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    A deep dive into the European Commission's recent preliminary findings that Apple's App Store rules are in breach of the Digital Markets Act reveal that enforcement of the EU's Big Tech law might go beyond the literal text of the regulation and more toward the spirit of compliance, say William Dolan and Pratik Agarwal at Rule Garza.

  • 2 Rulings Serve As Conversion Fee Warnings For Banks

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    A comparison of the different outcomes in Wright v. Capital One in a Virginia federal court, and in Guerrero v. Bank of America in a North Carolina federal court, highlights how banks must be careful in describing how currency exchange fees and charges are determined in their customer agreements, say attorneys at Weiner Brodsky.

  • Expect CFPB To Enforce Warning Against 'Coercive' Fine Print

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    The recent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau warning against unenforceable terms "deceptively" slipped into the fine print of contracts will likely be challenged in court, but until then, companies should expect the agency to treat its guidance as law and must carefully scrutinize their consumer contracts, say attorneys at Ballard Spahr.

  • Loss Causation Ruling Departs From Usual Securities Cases

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    A California federal court recently dismissed Ramos v. Comerica, finding that the allegations failed to establish loss causation, but the reasoning is in tension with the pleading-stage approaches generally followed by both courts and economists in securities fraud litigation, say Jesse Jensen and Aasiya Glover at Bernstein Litowitz.

  • Opinion

    Now More Than Ever, Lawyers Must Exhibit Professionalism

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    As society becomes increasingly fractured and workplace incivility is on the rise, attorneys must champion professionalism and lead by example, demonstrating how lawyers can respectfully disagree without being disagreeable, says Edward Casmere at Norton Rose.

  • 'Outsourcing' Ruling, 5 Years On: A Warning, Not A Watershed

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    A New York federal court’s 2019 ruling in U.S. v. Connolly, holding that the government improperly outsourced an investigation to Deutsche Bank, has not undercut corporate cooperation incentives as feared — but companies should not completely ignore the lessons of the case, say Temidayo Aganga-Williams and Anna Nabutovsky at Selendy Gay.

  • Series

    Serving In The National Guard Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My ongoing military experience as a judge advocate general in the National Guard has shaped me as a person and a lawyer, teaching me the importance of embracing confidence, balance and teamwork in both my Army and civilian roles, says Danielle Aymond at Baker Donelson.

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